Turkeys are safe around me this year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 2004

With the end of February yet another hunting season has come to a close.

Many people would disagree saying that turkey season is close to full throttle.

Not for me. I decided long ago that turkeys were far too smart for me.

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I have had problems admitting this for years. I decided that it might be therapeutic to make my confession by way of this column and hope that there are others out there who share my pain.

First off, despite their bad image, turkeys are smart.

I have outwitted other animals in my time, but never in my life have I been able to bag a gobbler.

Probably my biggest problem is that I don't speak the language.

I have been to many demonstrations where people famous for "talking turkey" put on unbelievable shows.

When I tried to mimic their actions with the call I almost swallowed it and choked to death.

I already had problems and hadn't even made it to the woods.

Turkey's 1 Rick 0.

Another problem that I have with turkey hunting is my inability to sit still.

This is a problem that has plagued me throughout my deer hunting days as well.

Usually, I am able to sit still enough to get a shot.

Not with the turkeys. The only times I have even been able to have a turkey come near enough to even think about a shot I would always announce my presence somehow.

Even the slightest movement sets these birds to flight.

A majority of the time these birds know that I am there and avoid me completely.

This usually leaves me feeling frustrated and knowing that I have wasted a perfectly good spring day.

Turkey's 2 Rick 0.

The third major problem that I have had with turkey hunting is that they work together with other critters to make your life miserable.

The few times that I have attempted to bag a gobbler I have been pummeled by mosquitoes.

Each time I have gone turkey hunting I have been forced to question why birds and insects, which in most cases are natural enemies, suddenly banded together against me.

When a hunter comes away from the field worse off than the target of his trip it is time to quit.

With the help of the mosquitoes the turkeys completed the shutout.

Turkey's 3 Rick 0.

Some people may call me a quitter. I say that I know when I am whipped.

I don't think that I will ever become discouraged to the point of putting away my deer rifle or squirrel gun.

But at this point I have decided to take the spring off and target practice rather than battle wits with Tom Turkey.

That way, I at least know I'll get a shot.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick. couch@greenvilleadvocate.com.